There will always be adversity. I know it’s time I faced that reality.
As much as I yearn for peaceful resolution, I have to be mindful that others can be coming from a place more broken than mine. Their worldview is in opposition with mine, but it is still their truth, just as I have my own truth. I have to let go of the erroneous belief that collaboration is always an option.
I know too well that some thrive on conflict, relish the verbal battle with maligning of their opponent and winning as their goal.
I, too, relish a healthy debate, I love hearing opposing positions, challenging questions and points of view that push me to a clearer understanding of my beliefs. But today I must learn to welcome conflict as a jumping off point for personal growth, as an opportunity to expand my own perception of conflict in relationship and to become more adept at trying to create collaboration. Mutual respect and collaboration has always resonated for me.
And so, how do I enter into a situation where I believe I may be “under siege” with an adversary that is coming from a place so polar opposite to mine? I struggle with this particularly because I have co-dependent tendencies, preferring to subvert my own needs to avoid conflict. I tell that person a lie to avoid attack, but I know I am also telling myself a lie which is so much more damaging because, in that moment, I have abandoned myself.
In relenting to another’s will and relinquishing my own power, I have subverted my own dreams and beliefs about myself. Doing so carries such deleterious, collateral damage that carries forward in one’s heart, well beyond the conflict in the present.
Life is daunting, but more daunting is the abandonment of my own self because it resonates with familiarity. Today this is an opportunity to look at a cycle I am determined to break and so I will welcome this opportunity to sit strong in my resolve to collaborate and to reject being a victim. It is an opportunity to “test-drive” this new self I’ve worked so hard for the past two years to create.
I pray that I am faced with a Challenger and not a Bully, with someone who may have also shifted their point of view from antagonist to one of collaboration, but there are no guarantees in this. I know too well the adage that the best predictor of the future is the past.
There will be a coach, for each of us and a coach to manage the unfolding of our stories. I am fearful of lies and have to summon inner strength to remain calm and logical, refuting any falsehoods. It’s important for me that I not become like-minded in the “engagement”, to not have my buttons pushed to the point of shifting into victim and then to a response of anger. Anger has never fostered understanding, responding with anger has never accomplished anything more than further miscommunication and disconnection. It fills me with an even deeper sense of shame than playing the victim ever could. Being provoked to respond in kind is often a strategy of self-affirmation used by the perpetrator, it confirms that they can be the victim as well.
Today I choose to step out of the damaging co-dependency cycle of my past. Today I choose to walk in line with my beliefs and with love and grace in my heart. Love for the wounded person across from me. Love in my heart that is the strength of God working miracles through me.
God has no equal.
Isaiah 40:12New Living Translation (NLT)
The Lord Has No Equal
12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
With God in my heart, I strive to stay connected to the sense of calm and peace I felt last night and want to carry forward this morning. I will stand strong, with the force of His love as my shield and my protector. Remember David and Goliath?